Archive for January, 2011
OK I admit it – I was so damned naive –
You see, believe it or not, for the most part I believe in the good until proven otherwise. I thought that those who are “in charge” especially when it came to faith, must be a much better person than I am and live their lives setting a much higher bar than this sinner lives by. I was wrong!
I have met some truly wonderful people of faith, good , compassionate beings . I suppose I thought that to be “in charge/ or over such people” must take a very special human being. SIGH.
The more I delve the more I realize I was naive and somewhat pollyannerish. Oligarchy (small governing group: a small group of people who together govern a nation or control an organization, often for their own purposes ;government or control by a small group of people)
does exist in religion and in my experience the Roman Catholic faith as well and I am a victim of oligarchy.
I really was stupid wasn’t I to expect an answer from the local “Men of God” or even an understanding as to what this family was being put through. After all apparently they have been covering up and ignoring much more terrible things than the breaking of a mother’s heart and desecrating a grave ( in my opinion). They have been enabling such disgusting crimes against children etc. which makes my plight pale into such insignificance .
Did I think I would get any sort of human response to my last letters?
NO! I knew that when I wrote them– but I wanted the paper trail for this blog- you see I did learn my lesson.
Why then did I bother ? Because, as I have said in part one, the sad part of all this is the only accountability I have left to me is writing the truth of the story ( remember I document everything- I don’t lie – the facts can be checked ) and the recording of the facts and the situation and those involved will be there for the long-term.
Maybe I will be dead, but some day someone will read these words and look at their neighbor, priest, co-worker, one with whom they do business, aunt , uncle, mother or even grandparent and recognize the fact that they were the “people of pain”. – the knowledge may give them insight when dealing with such people.
As my Catholic friends and also those who have complained to us ( thinking the RITCHEY family were the culprits of questionable taste ) learned through this blog and elsewhere of the “decorations” such as balloons, cake , peanut butter cups, vegetables , Hallowe’en happenings, beer/ cans at the place where my sons’ earthly remains are buried were in fact being placed there by people whom we have not “truck” with ( The Lombardis, Vykas, Gonzales, Gotts and Zaworskis) since our son died – to a person- they all stated :
“They can’t do that there are rules- there are rules governing the decorating of the graves in Calvary. (Cemetery, Lorain) You should call the office.
Well if letters to those in the higher chain of command of the cemetery management did nothing maybe a phone call was needed .
My cynical outlook is that laws are made for the law-abiding and rules for those who follow them…. and it seems the “heathen I am” is correct.
Phone calls to Calvary Catholic Cemetery , Lorain only produced
“Oh well! we remove the items if we see them but we leave at 4:30 . Yes, it is against the rules , I have myself seen people around a grave side drinking beer and cans have been left on occasion but we pick them up when we find them”
It seems the rules of Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Lorain Ohio are only for those of you that follow them – others can do what they like !
No accountability ! And therefore it follows no respect for my son in that place not as long as those that “control the family plot” decide to “decorate’ his remains in their way . You see every single part of Chris was precious to his family and still is. It is precisely why we “scatter the ashes” a symbolic “freeing” if you will from the earth he left behind and freedom from those whose ways are “cultural and faith based opposites ” .
And as for the Bishop Lennon and Co after much research it also seems he “holds accountable” but HE is NOT held accountable.
And since he finds it acceptable to excommunicate 300 or so from his own flock what does he care about a silly woman in Lorain over whom he has no control of her mortal soul ( thank God!!!) or her finances 😉 – can’t excommunicate me I am already in hell.
I have been doing a lot of research on Bishop Lennon- personally I don’t think he is a very nice man- certainly not the picture of a man of God I had in my naive mind.
I would like to draw your attention to the following link it is an article from Cleveland Scene Magazinehttp://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2007/01_02/2007_01_31_ClevelandScene_TheGodly.htm
the film Hand Of God and the scene described below with Bishop Lennon can be found here.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/handofgod/view/but the words of the brother of one of the victims of “abuse” and the filmmaker rings so true to these ears
Bishop Lennon In Joe Cultrera’s face during the filming of Hand of God-source PBS.org
“Sir, if you think you’re going to make me feel bad about this . . .,” he says flatly.
“I know you guys don’t feel bad,” Cultrera responds. “You don’t feel anything.”
The back-and-forth continues before Lennon decides he’s got better things to do — save for one parting shot.
“It’s all in your head, sir,” he says, towering over the much smaller Cultrera. “You’re a sad little man.”
the article goes on to say
Cultrera, 48, says he’s received several e-mails from Cleveland Catholics, ashamed at Lennon’s cameo. Some parishioners have even written the bishop, Cultrera says. He doubts they’ll get a response.
“He knows that it doesn’t mater,” Cultrera says. “He knows that nothing will happen to him. They all know that nothing will happen.”
HOW VERY SAD IS THAT? BECAUSE CULTRERA WAS RIGHT THEN AND NOW!
IGNORE and LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY in the Oligarchy………………
NOTE: As you read this letter I would ask you to remember that the name on the “designer headstone” is RITCHEY– I would also remind you that being the case it is to this family RITCHEY that people are addressing their complaints of beer cans and tacky decorations as they visit their loved ones at Calvary Catholic Cemetery and are under the ERRONEOUS impression WE are in fact the “decorators“.
I have informed those that have contacted me of the truth of the matter and that I am as disgusted as they are at the lack of respect.
My previous post I was somewhat “disrespectful to Bishop Lennon- on purpose- – I ridiculed ( tamely as it happens) a man of the cloth- probably didn’t go down well with some of my readers – BUT disrespectful behaviour towards my family and my dead son is being enabled by that same “man” and parishioners of his diocese.
What makes “their beliefs” more important than the beliefs of Chris’ family- why should those that gave him life, substance and culture have their beliefs negated with his death by those not of his culture and beliefs newly come into his life.
Think about that please and how would you like it?
Accountability????? ( next post)
Reverend Richard Lennon
Bishop of Cleveland
1027 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
January 9th 2011
It has been exactly one year since my last correspondence to you, and since neither yourself or Reverend Divis thought to respond, I , as you are well aware, wrote to Archbishop Foley at the Vatican who did reply and cc that reply to yourself.
It has been one year and still my family and the “blood kin ” of Christopher David Ritchey have been without any closure, in our faith , thanks to the “breaking of one’s word and a verbal contract” by the Lombardi family and their daughter Angela Marie( Lombardi) Ritchey. Being without closure means just that – for us there has been no goodbye in our way and no closure for his family. We are still raw in our grief.
You, Reverend Lennon or Reverend Divis could NEVER know the pain of losing a child from a “mothers perspective or even a parent’s perspective”. I, unfortunately do not have the talent to convey to you the heart wrenching pain this causes those who love unconditionally and without thought of self!
YOU CAN NEVER EXPERIENCE the blackness of despair of the loss of one who shared your body, whose souls combined as he rested beneath your heart, fed by your own body as he was given life. I wish you could -for you and your priest would not have enabled such pain to be visited upon a parent. On top of that most powerful of emotion, that of utter grief , your church and your employee, Father Divis, have added to that misery by enabling the taking our son to your place of interment , your faith and your culture- denying his family.
Chris’s family, already negated by the machinations of Angela Lombardi Ritchey, her family, and your priest, as though we didn’t even exist, had our son, brother and grandchild interred without knowledge of kith or kin( as mentioned in my previous letter) had that insult compounded 10 fold.
What remains of my son in that place has become a” Papish picnic table for vermin”. The past 12 months has found that place of deceit that binds my son to the earth , as it heaves with decay and decomposing remains decorated with balloons, tacky plastic flowers , flags, Halloween decorations, pumpkins , even the odd slice of birthday cake which was then augmented with ants and the attracting of small rodents to his remains, more balloons and chocolate candies.
On December 25 ,2010– this past Christmas day – I received a phone call that low and behold a half empty beer can of Bud Light was placed above his ashes. His family does not visit this place where his ashes are interred; it is more than we could bear to see how Chris is disgraced and decorated.
I still cannot think of my son’s remains and the acts of deceit that placed him there without anger, grief and confusion but the mere fact his remains are so decorated makes the bile rise in my throat. This is compassion, love and “honoring” my son?
I am incensed that your church, purportedly founded upon love and compassion, allows such disrespect. Your own policy through the Catholic Cemeteries Association is being flouted but I am not surprised since obviously the teachings of your church have also been flouted and in your own words
The Church has always treated burial as a religious rite and as a corporal work of mercy.
Mercy? I find that as absent as any compassion or consideration for Chris’s “family” as this act was perpetrated on Chris’ family- no phone call, no outreach and no mercy from the Rev. Divis or Mary Mother of God, Lorain Ohio as they took from us our closure.
Since my last correspondence I have found those who profess such great faith and are “pillars” of the congregation have continued their diatribe of control – I have written in the past year hundreds of thousands of words detailing our pain –
This extensive category also contains
I have written about the “IGNOR – stance” of the Roman Catholic Church a six part series :
This series was picked up by numerous Catholic Websites. The writings bring me some comfort as I discover “truths” and hypocrisy – compassion and selfishness- and a deeper understanding of religion.
The ripple effect of your enabling the taking of my son to a place not of his belief, not of his culture continues to do great disservice to the memory and life of a wonderful, talented and much-loved son, brother , nephew , uncle and grandchild.
By taking my son from us,interring him in a place of your faith, surrounded by a family plot that has none of his kith or kin , in a place that is against his own beliefs -you are then held responsible for , in his family eyes at least, TO RESPECT THAT WHICH YOU HAVE “TAKEN” from those who would have had their closure and given him the love and respect he so deserved.
The argument given by his bride of a year and bit that it is what Chris would have wanted is false and a selfish justification – Chris would not have wanted his family caused such pain and anguish, being locked away in the cold toxic ground-
he loved his freedom as well as his family and protected them. Chris’s last written words to us stated:
“I love you both so very much more than I could ever express”
Chris would no more have wanted this than he wanted to die!
I am perplexed by the continued lack of respect and disgusted by the actions of your number. I would suggest you remember that as you pray to another mother and think of her pain you ask forgiveness for the pain caused to another of her sisterhood.- one who lost her son to disease and again to deceit and control and yet again the dishonor perpetrated by those that decorate with cake, beer and balloons enabled by your church.
Rev. Divis- Mary Mother of God, Lorain Oh
Catholic Cemeteries Association
TO BE CONTINUED :Bishop Lennon / Calvary Cemetery/ The rules unless you are the rulee — Ignore them at your will
I was speaking to another who grieves , who like me is distanced from absolute faith/organized religion and who shares the questioning as to WHY?
We both agreed to have such an unquestioning faith must be a wonderful thing and a great help to others who grieve that have such faith. I only have questions as to organized religion and no answers.
I have had more “truck” with the Roman Catholic religion lately than I had ever thought possible.
I had even thrown my hat into the ring to help save a Roman Catholic Church. Why? Because my neighbors and community ( of the Roman Catholic faith who attended St. Mary’s needed help from the rest of the non- catholic community in saving their place of worship). I respected their right to worship and their needs.
You can find the story here.
In one respect, a very personal regret, not a community regret- I am sorry I even had anything to do with helping – I am sorry I wrote letters of support to Bishops and to Rome to help save the old St. Mary’s, Lorain, Ohio as it turns out they enabled such pain and despair to be visited upon this family– not of their faith and not of their beliefs.
BUT as usual I have gone off on a “back story tangent”This journey into the faith of others has me wondering and the “accountability ” _ as mentioned in Part One.
I have been researching, as I am won’t to do, accountability in situations with the Bishop Lennon etc-
and my particular situation( more on that later).
Front page today in the Morning Journal and Plain Dealer gave me more questions. It seems the Bishop has his robes in a knot ( YES! I know I am being disrepectful– more on disrespect later- it works both ways 😉
Now about the time I was going to bat for St. Mary’s , Bishop Lennon closed another church – St Peter’s on Superior Avenue -Cleveland, Ohio
The closing of the 151-year-old St. Peter on Superior Avenue and East 17th Street was part of a diocese-wide downsizing that saw the elimination of 50 parishes.
Without their home, Marrone and his flock leased a renovated century-old building at Euclid Avenue and East 71st Street, prompting a warning by Lennon that their salvation was at stake if they worshiped in a place not approved by him.
Bishop Lennon thwarted by these people of faith who still worship the same God, in the same way and in the same faith and beliefs are in danger because they are being threatened with “excommunication”- in fact if they continue to worship in a building not of his sanction “their immortal souls are in danger”– he stated :
“Please know that I will not approve of a priest celebrating the sacraments in any space other than an approved site within the diocese,” the bishop wrote, adding that he was concerned”for you and your salvation.”
http://www.cleveland.com/brett/blog/index.ssf/2010/03/my_letter_from_bishop_lennon.htmlStill, the bishop sent letters at the end of March of this year to each member of St. Peter’s, suggesting their salvation was in jeopardy if they conducted worship services outside of a sanctioned church.
On Wednesday, Lennon handed Marrone a letter saying the priest was engaged in “scandal” and “corruption” by saying Masses in a space not sanctioned by the diocese. He told Marrone he expected him to resign from the breakaway group within 48 hours or face “canonical action,” a warning that left Marrone with the choice of remaining faithful to his congregation or to his bishop.
Oh dear! – worshipping God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Mother and all the Saints – having faith – in a time when people are leaving the churches _ that is obvious by the fact they had to close 50 parishes in the diocese and the punishment of those that wish to practice faith- excommunication– that penalty is a bit stiff isn’t it?
In jeopardy of losing ones Salvation:
a.Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
b.A source, means, or cause of such preservation or deliverance.
a.Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.
b.The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.
Excommunication ( whew)
Exclusion from the communion, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal , spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation……..
Censure for the priest well that goes back to the Romans
The name and general nature of this punishment date from the Roman Republic. With the ancient Romans, in the year A.U.C. 311, we find established the office of public censor (censores), whose functions were the keeping of a register (census) of all Roman citizens and their proper classification, e.g., senators, knights, etc. Furthermore their functions were the disciplinary control of manners and mores, in which their powers were absolute, both in sumptuary matters and in the degradation of any citizen from his proper class, for reasons affecting the moral or material welfare of the State. This punishment was called censure (censura). As the Romans were jealous in preserving the dignity of their citizenship, so also was the Church solicitous for the purity and sanctity of her membership
So in order to hold the flock faithful the accountability not to their belief and faith in God / Jesus Christ/ the Bible and all the saints and preachings but because of a disagreement with “where ” the faithful worship God – they are being threatened with is loss of their salvation, being a pariah–
I just don’t get it? I would think sending 350 into a religious abyss is a bit of an over reaction .
Eh? What Bishop Lenny baby ?
( I know there is that lack of respect again ) to be continued in Part three-
Bishop Lennon- Due Respect- Beliefs- The Dead and Calvary Cemetery Lorain
In the next post(tomorrow) once more I am posting a slice of the very personal. So fair warning to those who subscribe and to those who follow this blog just a heads up.
AND AS A SIDE BAR – PLEASE REMEMBER THAT I HAVE ALL DOCUMENTATION- LETTERS- E-MAILS AND WITNESSES TO ANY AND ALL OF THE ‘EVENTS’ AND HAPPENINGS AS THEY HAVE UNFOLDED IN THESE PAST MONTHS. These are my truths and my reaction to the circumstances that make up our life
I have learned a lot about perception, culture and human nature in the past months.
I have realized that although we are supposedly taught “tolerance and respect “ for others in just about all the religious teachings no matter the religious persuasion- but is that really the case – even on such a local level?
I wonder what makes one person’s beliefs ( mine for instance) of less importance than anothers- is it sheer weight of numbers in another belief within our little part of the world in which we reside that tips the scales or are we victims of oligarchy in the broad sense of the word?
I am perplexed………
The fact that accountability for one’s actions in the particular case I will be addressing next is only a perception leads to the only accountability in this family’s journey being “this blog”…… sad but true…….. so since the “ignor- stance” /lack of accountability continues …….. so will the journey.
I am posting the link to Hillary’s latest post – I am in awe of the strength of this young woman
Remember this post from August?https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/needed-a-tattoo-on-my-forehead/
what this man got in retaliation was “ME ” – not the me of old- but the me who had used every bit of her intestinal fortitude just to attend the event. The “ME” who can no longer suffer fools and idiots- the ME who is tired of self-righteous sanctimonious control freaks. The ME who is no longer in control of her emotions the ME who is always endanger of “flaring” and subject to language that could make a truck driver blush.
I really do NEED a warning label. I may look Ok – I may be smiling on the outside but I can change in a fraction of a second.
It still takes so much for me to leave this house. People have said
Oh it gets easier in time -the grief lessens- time heals
As I try to think of the good memories of my son and our lives together , ones without – cancer, death and diseased disciples of control– those great memories only point up the fact that my son is gone and magnifies the “missing” . I am still an emotional puddle of a person- subject to tears at a moments notice. Therefore when I go out I still gear myself to meet with people, I look for the nearest escape route incase the “floods” come forth or I can no longer bear the pain. .
I have another worry – in the past 13 months I have not met up with or bumped into any of the “committee of control.” Since I only saw a few of them on rare occasions my memory of them is “hazy”. I haven’t attached much importance to remembering their deceitful faces.
But I DID wonder what my reaction may be if I did ever bump into any other them . Well now I know –
Last week I was at a fundraiser- I sat at the back of the room so I could scan the incoming. Luckily my husband and I were soon joined by some entertaining and friendly faces.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED– I felt ( as I sat there) a hand on my shoulder and a voice saying
“how are you?”
as I partially turned to look at the owner of the hand I saw a familiar hairstyle and a partial face-
My body froze – I believed I had at last come face to face with a viper– I shook off the offending hand- I felt like I was on fire at the same time an icy cold permeated from my being.
“I remember saying as I shook the person from my being-
How dare you? don’t you dare touch me!
I felt disgust and nauseous that this woman was anywhere near me.
The faces at the table were bewildered as I turned away and the woman stepped back I looked into the perplexed face of her husband.
THEN IT DAWNED– and I quickly turned to see not a viper but a very bewildered mother of one of Chris’s friends from the past.
I could do nothing but apologize and tell her that I had mistaken her for one of the “aunts” ( Michele Gonzales as a matter of fact).
“My God, I felt like I had the plague or something
“ she said
” What ever did she do to you, it must have been awful to get that reaction “?
I then explained what had happened as Chris lay dying and after his death.
They were shocked and hadn’t had any idea we had been put through so much pain.
My apologies were accepted and actually the husband thought it would make a good story. I spent the rest of the evening explaining to people at other tables my reaction to this lady and why I had responded the way I did . I am afraid my behaviour was quite noticable.
I really felt badly that someone who was such a caring person experienced just the tip of the iceberg of my wrath…… BUT I know now how deep my feelings of disgust go with these people. I was surprised myself….
Nikki, logically stated, when I told her what had happened
“Mum, think about it- why would Michele or any of them care how you are or even approach you?”
But logic was the furthest thing from my emotional reaction – I didn’t think I reacted……… so make sure you don’t come up from behind and please announce yourself – as I am not myself and in my fog you may not be seen as a friend 🙂
I try very hard to listen, think about what they’re saying, and write key points down. If I’ve missed something please let me know.
Please refer to tonight’s agenda: http://www.cityoflorain.org/documents/council/1-18-11_1276.pdf
Committee Meeting: Pg 50 and 51 of packet
Discussion of Block Grant Funds for Seniors and Disabled for Windows
$115,000 original amount, ($26,000 went to Community Development: which leaves $89,000)
1.Can’t go in south lorain (it’s a historic district)
2.letters would have to be submitted for permission,
3.historic preservation society would cost > $5,000
4.then it would take 5-6 months.
5.Would have to be a lottery program, month long after 3rd party would draw names, etc would take 7 months, they’ve had funds for 2 yrs.
Mr. Edwards & Mrs. Molnar were disappointed the seniors didn’t have access to these funds.
Could help only 20-30 people with the funds
Grant: Intent to help for greater good, should be for city funded energy.
Council was not informed of what this money was meant to do.
Result: Community Development devise program guide lines, alternatives.
Mayor and Mr. Fallis were not in attendance
A question of Fluoride savings if we eliminate from our system, request by Mr. Schuster.
This is required by law, it should be debated with Ohio Legislature (the Law is from 1972)
I wonder if any cities aren’t using fluoride in Ohio?
What are the fines if we don’t use?
#5 Facades of downtown businesses within map included. This item went into committee during this meeting ¸Community Development explained.
$50,000 set aside. 30% would be subsidized maximum $15,000. (Block Grant entitlement 1.2 million)
A possible forgivable loan, Mr. Given thinks it’s too small amount may only benefit a small group of individuals.
#6 Funding for businesses coming into Lorain. $100,000 available to be loaned, will loan up to $20,000.
#9 Revolving Loan micro Loan, City Wide. 9 loans $130,000 being used now. Want to be SBA Loan originator.
My thought: When did the City become a Bank?
Item 10 to second reading , awaiting outcome of new attorney general’s view on liquor in internet cafes.
Council Concerns:Several but:
436 opened without permits. They will be prosecuted. New regulation for Teen Clubs will be needed.
From the Morning Journal
Gunshots reported outside Club 436 in LorainPublished: Monday, January 17, 2011
LORAIN — About eight to 10 gunshots were reported fired last night near Club 436, 436 Broadway, according to Lorain police Sgt. Mark Carpentiere.
Officers went to the club around 11:36 p.m. where there were several juveniles out front. A witness told police a man got out of the car, pointed a handgun in the air and began firing, according to a Lorain police report.
Witnesses told police the car then sped off through the Lorain National Bank parking lot with an older grey car following, the report said. Witnesses said each car had about four people inside.
They would not give police any more information because the were afraid of retaliation “as several people were watching him speak with me,” the report stated.
At first no one inside the club knew anything about the shots fired but a girl later told police several juveniles from Elyria “tried to ‘crash’ the party,” according to the report.
Officers checked the area for both cars but could not find them. No shell casings were found in the area.